Roving thoughts and provocations

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All Their Flummery and Finery

In the latest episode of the podcast, Jonathan Freedland talks with Emily Greenhouse about gilded-coach celebrity in an era of austerity, the hereditary principle, and why all bets are off when it comes to Wills and Kate.

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Andrew Milligan/Press Association/AP Images
Prince William and Kate Middleton visiting the University of St. Andrews, February 25, 2011

Emily Greenhouse: What part does gender play in the monarchy?

Jonathan Freedland: Gender is massively important, partly because it’s one of the very few places left where there’s still, by law, male precedence. If William and Kate have three girls and one boy, in that order, it will be the boy, the youngest, who becomes king. There are very few places where there is still egregious and blatant gender discrimination like that, and not only is it not against the law, which it would be any workplace, it is actually enshrined in the law. In that sense, the royal family is fascinating, because it enshrines the view of men and women and how they relate to each other, and the order of things, that in all other aspects of British life has been reviewed, reformed, revised, or just plain thrown out.

Listen to the whole conversation below, or subscribe to the podcast with iTunes or your RSS reader to download this and other episodes.

(Podcast produced by Sean Hagerty)

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